Earl's Gourmet Grub owners Dean Harada and Yvonne McDonald were inspired by their family businesses growing up: Joe's Grub and Gourmet Catering, and interestingly enough by the fabled Earl of Sandwich. But, let's back up for a second. Anyone that has been to the Mar Vista farmers market this year may have noticed the line at the Earl's Gourmet Grub booth. There, they feature sandwiches like the Pig and Fig (prosciutto, fig slaw, caramelized onions, arugula, served on Pain du Jour's walnut-hazelnut loaf) and the Grilled Gouda (Pain du Jour's soft white pain de mie bread, sun-dried tomato hash, pickled onions), as well as a variety of cold sandwiches like the Soft-Shell Crab Po-Boy they featured recently, just in time for Mardi Gras, with warm melted butter.
Located next door to The Grind on Venice near Centinela in a former art gallery, Harada and McDonald found a space that was just the right size for what will become a mainly take out business. (Delivery will also be available.) You might think that the business started with a small farmers market kiosk and then grew to afford its own permanent place, but Earl's owners started the farmers market community outreach just as they broke ground at 12226 Venice Blvd. They hired David Freeland of Freeland Buck to design a modern, breezy site, with a small deli section, a few patio tables, and plenty of space for sandwich and salad making. Construction started early this year, and the space is likely to be complete in a month. Wary of Los Angeles County inspections and permit particulars, Earl's isn't making any opening date proclamations just yet, but they do hope to open this spring.
And about that menu? Earl's Gourmet Grub specializes in hot and cold sandwiches. Daily specials will be featured, and McDonald is working on a line of speciality deli salads too. Find yourself obsessing over the prosciutto you get on your sandwich? Earl's will also sell their raw ingredients - the cheeses, the cured meats, possibly their slaws and spreads - in the small retail deli case. Hoping to feature a curated merchandise section with plenty of gourmet jams, pestos, and other sandwich-friendly raw ingredients, there is shelving and table space for this; Pain du Jour will likely supply them with breakfast pastries as well. Earl's will be open seven days a week, initially for breakfast and lunch, followed by dinner Thursday through Saturday. And don't worry about missing them at the Mar Vista Farmer's Market - they plan on keeping the tent up there every Sunday too. — Daniela Galarza